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View photos from the 100th Annual May Day Celebration.

300 The Fenway welcomes guest blogger Deana LaFauci '12!

This year marks the 100th anniversary of Simmons College's oldest tradition, May Day. To celebrate the historical milestone, students, faculty, and staff have joined together to update the tradition to include the entire Simmons community.

The May 1, 2012 centennial event, "May Day at 100: Envision the Past, Imagine the Future," is anything but traditional. For the first time in its 100-year history, May Day will be celebrated on both the residence and academic campuses, with an extension of the tree planting tradition to the academic campus. It was designed to incorporate populations of the Simmons community who may not otherwise have the opportunity to be part of the early-morning event on the residence campus.

"When we heard that this year was the 100th anniversary of May Day, we all were excited about the possibility of working with the sophomore class council and its president Tania Bajwa '14," says Associate Dean of the Simmons School of Management Mary Dutkiewicz. "And to see if together, we could celebrate it in grand style."

Continue reading May Day at 100: Simmons College revitalizes its oldest tradition.

rally 1.jpg
Members of Save Fenway Park! rally on Lansdowne Street in 1999. Photo courtesy of Erika Tarlin '85LS.

On the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park, it's hard to believe that America's most beloved ballpark was almost destroyed due to a stadium proposal in the late 1990s that sought to demolish the park and build a new, larger stadium adjacent to the old one. At the time of the proposal, the Fenway neighborhood was concerned about how a larger stadium would affect the community.

To save the ballpark, members of the Fenway neighborhood rallied behind a small nonprofit group, Save Fenway Park!, and Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) alumna Erika Tarlin '85 was a key member of the group who petitioned for Simmons College to host a design symposium that would allow members of the community to share alternative ideas for saving the stadium. Other local organizations were hesitant to support the symposium for fear of angering city officials who supported replacing Fenway.

Continue reading Simmons library science alumna played key role in saving Fenway Park from demolition.

Watch the video created by Simmons College to contribute to the It Gets Better Campaign in support of The Trevor Project, an organization aimed at preventing suicide among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youth.

Columnist and author Dan Savage and his partner Terry Miller launched the It Gets Better campaign as a response to a rash of LGBTQ suicides, which were the result of bullying and harassment at schools and campuses across the country. The project aims to turn the tide of self-destruction by reaching vulnerable youth with the voices of survival and accomplishment. This video is Simmons' contribution to this important effort, by adding our voices of hope, encouragement, and achievement.

Simmons student ambassador Sarah O'Reilly '14 was involved with the project at Simmons from the beginning. She says movements like this are so important for college campuses.

"College is the place and time in which people start to grow into the people that they will live their lives as," says Sarah. "This project gives the people who have been voiceless in the past a way to speak out and be a part of a positive force in the community. It also helps to show people the parts of their own lives that are getting better and raises awareness of discriminations and hateful behavior."

Simmons' It Gets Better team is hoping this project will continue to grow, and create open dialogues around LGBTQ issues. To follow the movement at Simmons be sure to Like the Simmons College It Gets Better Facebook page and watch full interviews of the project's participants on the Simmons College It Gets Better YouTube channel.

To contribute suggestions or get involved, please email

bruinShop-1.jpgFor many high school students, prom is a right of passage, but the cost of attending can quickly add up. According to a recent survey by Visa, money spent on buying tickets, attire, flowers, limousines, photographers, and after-parties cost an average family an astonishing $807 in 2011. The high costs are causing many students to opt out of the experience due to financial constraints.

In 2005, Anton's Cleaners created the Belle of the Ball program, which helps to alleviate the costs of attending prom by asking people to donate gently worn, prom-appropriate dresses to various locations throughout eastern Massachusetts.

The program concludes with a day-long boutique held at Simmons College, who has been the proud host of Belle of the Ball by donating the use of its gym in the Holmes Sports Center. From February to April, donation boxes were placed around the Simmons campus, and more than 25 prom gowns were donated from the Simmons community. This year's event on April 14 is expected to draw more than 400 young women who will shop for their perfect prom dress, free of cost.

An added bonus? The young women will be assigned a personal shopper and stylist who will help them through the dress selection process!

Anton's Cleaners initially chose Simmons College as the host for Belle of the Ball's "Boutique Day" because of its central location in Boston and because its a women's college who supports young women in the community. Earlier this month, Simmons hosted the first annual fundraiser event for Belle of the Ball, which was a huge success.

Watch video of this year's Belle of the Ball event!

Interested in helping the cause? Be sure to check out the Belle of the Ball website for information on volunteering and donating.

Students build homes with Habitat for Humanity during Alternative Spring Break (ASB).

Naomi Chick '14 blogs for Faces of the Future and chronicles her life as a Simmons College student. Naomi helped organize this year's Alternative Spring Break (ASB) trip to Waynesburg, PA. ASB is a trip that occurs every year when students travel with Habitat for Humanity to help rebuild homes in underserved communities. Rather than taking spring break to stay at school, relax in Florida, or go home to spend time with family, students choose to spend their time helping those in need. Naomi says her trip was an eye-opening experience.

"On the second to last day of work, the new owner of the home we were building, Cheryl, showed up to the site. She was in her late 60's, and had just broken her knee in the snow a few weeks earlier. Tears immediately flooded to my eyes as she struggled to walk on the gravel to bring us lunch. Talking to her during lunch made everyone smile, and made us have a greater connection for what we were actually doing for Habitat....On the last day of the trip, and while we got back on the plane to head back to Boston, each one of us had a new sense of ourselves, and of humanity, and why helping our community should be a huge part of everyone's lives."

Read more about Naomi's experience with Alternative Spring Break on the Faces of the Future blog.

The Faces of the Future blog details the Simmons College experience through the eyes of four students. The students began blogging during their second semester at Simmons and will continue to share their experiences through their four years at the College. Sandy, Andree, Naomi, and Tania are incredible women, involved in all aspects of the Simmons community, and this blog is a way for them to share their college journey.

Many students say they decided to attend Simmons because it just "felt right" when they first visited the campus. It's often hard to communicate that feeling, so it's important to come and visit Simmons to experience it for yourself. Meeting professors, talking to current students, and seeing what it's really like to attend a women's college in Boston will have a major impact on your decision. Here are four reasons to come visit the Simmons College campus:

Get to know Boston.

Boston is a big city with more than 40 colleges and universities. Many students choose to come to Boston because of the vibrant college life. But, it's important to see where in the city you'd be living. Get to know the Fenway neighborhood. Walk down the street to Fenway Park or next door to the Museum of Fine Arts. Take the T to the Prudential Center and do some shopping. Decide if you can picture yourself living here for the next four years.

Meet the professors.

If you come visit Simmons, you have the option to sit it on a class and see one of our amazing professors in action. Simmons is a small college with a 13:1 student to faculty ratio. Our professors really get to know their students and care about their academic performance. Get to know Simmons professors!

Get a sense of the community.

We know there are many preconceived notions about women's colleges. Come see for yourself what it's really like. See if you get that "just right" feeling like so many other students do when they experience Simmons-ness for themselves.

See the campus.

Moving out on your own for the first time can be scary, especially moving to a major city. The Simmons campus takes every precaution to keep you safe. The residence campus is a gated community with nine residence halls, an athletic center, and a dining hall. Take a tour and test out the food. Talk to students about what campus life is like and see the dorms.

You can plan your visit to Simmons online. In the meantime, contact your admission counselor with any questions, and be sure to Like Simmons on Facebook and follow the College on Twitter to hear from and interact with other prospective and current students.

The Clothesline Project is a visual display of t-shirts that bear witness to domestic violence and sexual assault. Each shirt is decorated to represent a person's experience of rape, incest, battery, homophobia; or as a tribute to someone who has lost their life at the hands of their partner. The shirts are decorated by the survivors themselves or their loved ones.

This year Simmons College celebrated the 20th anniversary of The Clothesline Project in honor of alumna and domestic violence victim, Betsy McCandless. Betsy graduated from Simmons College in 1971 and went on to earn her master's degree in counseling.

When she was 42-years-old, she met the "man of her dreams" and was married within three months. Her husband almost immediately started beating her. He stole her money, her car and her self-esteem. After six months she escaped and went into hiding. One day after attending her support group, she was feeling confident and decided to return to her apartment to retrieve her mail. Her then ex-husband was there waiting for her. Tragically, Betsy was the victim of a murder-suicide.

The Clothesline Project at Simmons College is organized by Betsy's Friends, an organization on campus committed to spreading awareness and educating students about healthy relationships, domestic violence and sexual assault. Every year Betsy's Friends puts together a program for The Clothesline Project which remembers Betsy and other victims of domestic and sexual assault.

steve.jpgBetsy's brother, Board of Trustees Member Stephen McCandless, talks about his sister and how Simmons is educating students about domestic violence and what to do if they find themselves in a violent situation.
If you or someone you know needs help dealing with cases of domestic violence or sexual assault, please call the Simmons College Counseling Center Staff at 617-521-2455 or send them an email to set up an appointment.

S/RC for Community Service

The Scott/Ross Center for Community Service (S/RC) celebrated its 10th anniversary of service to the community yesterday. The center has been integral in connecting Simmons students with volunteer and service learning opportunities. It works with more than 60 community-based organizations and provides countless ways for students to get involved, make a difference, and learn leadership skills.

certificate.jpg In honor of this event, Mayor Menino has named the week of October 17 to October 21, Scott/Ross Center for Community service week!

Simmons has been connecting students with service opportunities for more than 100 years, but the Scott/Ross Center for Community Service was established ten years ago with the help and oversight of Board of Trustees member Emily Scott Pottruck '78. The S/RC has consistently been named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll and is the only school in Massachusetts to receive this "Honor with Distinction" four times.

Continue reading Boston Mayor Tom Menino recognizes Simmons' 10 years of community service.


Most colleges have community service programs, but there's something special about community service at Simmons. For starters, the Scott/Ross Center for Community Service has been recognized for five consecutive years for its outstanding programs, but there's even more!

Here are six things you need to know about Simmons' commitment to serving the community.

1. It's been around for awhile.
The Scott/Ross Center for Community Service was created in 2000 through a gift from Simmons College Trustee and alumna Emily Scott Pottruck. Simmons has always had a strong tradition of community involvement and this year we're celebrating the 10th anniversary of the center!
2. It's award-winning.
For the fifth consecutive year, Simmons has been named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. Simmons is the only college in Massachusetts to have received the "Honor Roll With Distinction" designation four times since the honor roll began in 2006. For the 2010 Honor Roll, Simmons was one of only 114 colleges to receive the designation.
3. Many students get involved.
More than 2,000 students took part in community service with the Scott/Ross Center last year - this totaled a whopping 53,700 hours - more than 2,200 days - of service! Through the Center, students work with more than 40 community organizations including Big Sister, Cradles to Crayons, Girl Scouts, and Facing History and Ourselves.

Continue reading Community service at Simmons: 6 facts you need to know.

The 106th Simmons Commencement speakers have been announced! The theme this year is "Celebrating Boston & Massachusetts," and these women could not be more prepared to speak to our coming graduates about their future life's work. Commencement will be held on Friday, May 20 at the Bank of America Pavilion in Boston's Seaport District.

During the undergraduate ceremony starting at 10 a.m., recently retired Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall will speak to graduating seniors about being the first woman to have served as the Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. In a time when there are still many firsts for women, who better than Chief Justice Marshall to inspire our graduates to pursue their dreams. Maybe the first woman president of the U.S. is among our Class of 2011? (Hey, you never know!)

Continue reading Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall to speak at Commencement.

If you haven't yet seen the exhibit Self and the Everywoman; Mixed Media Works by Claudia DeMonte in the Trustman Art Gallery, make sure to stop by the 4th floor of the MCB as soon as you have a free moment. The exhibit shows off Claudia's eclectic art style spanning three decades of her life. Claudia uses her self image in her work to portray the every woman and her role in society. Her work extends into various media, including photography, acrylic on canvas, pewter and wood, velvet paper cut-outs, painted gator board, and cast bronze.

Continue reading Self and the Everywoman, new Trustman exhibit.

The Simmons Black Student Organization faired the storm Tuesday to celebrate the beginning of Black History Month. All were welcome to participate in the cake cutting ceremony, and those lucky enough to be passing by received a free piece! The girls were joined by President Helen Drinan and School of Social Work Associate Professor Gary Bailey. If you're interested in celebrating Black History Month, the BSO has planned plenty events this month for you to take part in.

bso1.jpgTuesday February 8, 6:30 p.m. - 9 p.m. at Quadside: Project Have Hope Bead Party

Project Have Hope started buying beads from the Acholi women in 2006. Through this partnership, sales have increased significantly. Bead bracelets will be sold at Quadside, so make sure to get down there and support this great cause.

Continue reading Simmons BSO kicks off Black History Month.

Simmons College is a member of the Colleges of the Fenway (COF), a collaboration between six academic institutions in Boston's Fenway neighborhood. The COF gives students the opportunity to engage and interact with other students, organizations, and classes at participating colleges.

If you are an undergraduate student at Simmons, Emmanuel College, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Wentworth Institute of Technology, or Wheelock College, you can cross register and take up to two classes per semester at any of these six institutions at no extra tuition costs.

Continue reading Colleges of the Fenway provides opportunities for students.

We hope you enjoy this special holiday video from all of us at Simmons College. As we bid adieu to 2010 and look forward to welcoming 2011, we asked the Simmons community to share their wishes for the coming year. Whether your wish is for an athletic championship, straight A's, or health and prosperity, we sincerely hope all your dreams are fulfilled.

Wishing you and yours a happy New Year!


Simmons Associate Professor Emeritus Susan P. Bloom makes an annual list of her picks for the "Best Children's and Young Adult Books" of the year. If you're doing some last minute shopping for the holidays, these make for great gifts. Here is her list for 2010:

countdownthumb.jpg1. Wiles, Deborah. Countdown.
Countdown takes place during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. 11-year-old Franny Chapman lives just outside of Washington, D.C., near Andrews Air Force Base. As the world holds its breath during this intense time in our history, Franny is also dealing with her own family drama; A fight with her best friend, a chain-smoking mother, a college-student activist sister, and an absent pilot father. The story tells of a radical change in American history. Read the book review on Kirkus.

nothingthumb.jpg2. Teller, Janne. Nothing.
Pierre Anthon, a seventh grader at Tring School, has an existential crisis, climbs a tree, and refuses to come down to go back to school. "Determined to prove to Pierre Anthon that life has plenty of meaning, the students embark on a dire quest. Over the course of months, each student is required to give up something full of meaning, something chosen by the previous sacrificing student." Read the review on Kirkus.

annexed.jpg3. Dogar, Sharon. Annexed.
Dogar writes a historical fiction about Peter Van Pels, Anne Frank's companion while hiding in the Annex. Peter deals with his feelings towards Anne, which range from annoyance to fascination, his sexuality, and loss of faith. Dogar follows his life after the Annex is raided and through to the concentration camp. Read the review on Kirkus.

Continue reading Susan Bloom's Best Children's and Young Adult Books of 2010.

Many children grew up playing sports. Parents drove to soccer practice on Mondays, softball on Tuesdays, gymnastics on Thursdays; not to mention the afternoon games of basketball with the neighborhood kids. For some, athletics is a major part of growing up.

But, let's face it. Most of us do not turn into professional athletes. Even most students who are good enough to get scholarships to Division I and II schools, don't make it to the pro's. Division III schools give athletes the opportunity to continue their athletic careers while attending great academic programs that prepare them for their future.

Being an all women's undergraduate college, Simmons female athletes are top priority. Jessica Thomas '12, a member of the Simmons basketball team, talked about the advantages of not having a men's team.

Continue reading Athletics at a Division III college.

victoria_edited.jpg Victoria J. Nasanga '12
Major: Psychology
Activities: Simmons Dance Company, Black Student Organization
Education prior to Simmons: Salem State University, 59 credits transferred over

Why did you decide to transfer to Simmons?

Victoria: I have always wanted to come to Simmons, but as a high school student I was unable to finish the process of applying because of certain circumstances that were going on in my life at the time. Simmons was always my first choice, though, and now that I'm here I appreciate the fact that the College offers so many different opportunities for me to explore my horizons. I plan on studying abroad while at Simmons and completing an internship next summer.

Were you nervous about transferring?

Continue reading Meet Victoria, junior transfer student.

The Simmons crew team finished 16th in the Women's Collegiate Eight at the Charles River Regatta last weekend, overtaking rowing teams from Wesleyan, Colby, and Tufts. It is the highest placing and fastest time in this event for Simmons. The Sharks placed 23rd in the Collegiate Four.

Head coach Nik Kurmakov talked about the importance of this regatta for the team:

For us, [The Charles River Regatta] is preparation for the spring. So, we can figure out who we'll compete against in the spring season from other Division III schools before the NCAA qualification regatta.

The team finished their fall season this weekend, placing second at the Seven Sisters Regatta on the Connecticut River. Coming in just behind Wellesley College, Simmons beat out Smith College, Mount Holyoke, and Bryn Mawr College.

The Sharks will return for the spring season on March 10 in Melbourne, Florida. After the enormous success during the fall, we are very excited to see how the rest of the year goes.


John Simmons founded Simmons College on the outrageous idea that women would "acquire an independent livelihood." In 1902, a time when women weren't allowed to vote, to build an institution which would shape women into scholars who could work professionally and provide for themselves was on the cutting edge of education. Simmons College, in following its founders inspiration, has continued to remain a pioneer - not just in higher education, but also in society.

The Simmons community honored John Simmons' birthday yesterday during the annual Founder's Day celebration. The school unveiled the new class flags and provided plenty of cake and sparkling cider for everyone's enjoyment. After all, it is the College's founder whose influence has shaped Simmons into a world-class institution.

Learn more about the history of Simmons College, and let us know what makes you proud to be part of the Simmons community.

Wondering what a Simmons athletic career could offer you? How about a chance to play a competitive sport for four years, while still having the opportunity to achieve everything you want to academically?

Simmons athletes are looked up to on campus. Being an all women's college means female sports teams don't have to take a back seat to men's athletics, as is with most colleges and universities. There is a certain camaraderie that comes with being a Shark. Each team is committed to supporting their fellow athletes during games, matches, and meets.

Continue reading See what it's like to be a Simmons Shark.


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